Coach Sutter not pleased

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

After a 6-0 loss on home ice, it was time for a chat.

Well, it wasn’t so much a conversation as a lecture.

Flames bench boss Brent Sutter held court on the ice with the defencemen for 15 minutes at the beginning of Thursday’s practice.

He then did the same with his forward ranks.

There wasn’t a lot of back-and-forth sharing of opinions.

There was a message to be delivered, and Sutter did exactly that.

“The message was the same to both our forwards and the defence: Get back to the way we’re capable of playing,” Sutter said.

“Especially at home. Our last three games at home, we’ve given up way too many goals against. And we lost every game because of it.

“We need to tighten things up.”

After a couple of ultimately unsuccessful pond-hockey road games that saw the Flames score five goals in Carolina and four in Montreal — both resulting in extra-time losses — the team got away from its defensive scheme completely in Wednesday night’s embarrassment.

Centre Brendan Morrison said Sutter’s message is one his squad needs to listen to.

“We have to be committed to good defensive hockey,” Morrison said. “Some nights, you’re not going to score four or five goals.

“So the buy-in has to be solid team defence, and we’ll find ways to manufacture a couple of goals.”

The Flames have lost three straight at the Dome with setbacks to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings prior to the Wild debacle.

Winger Alex Tanguay, whose 11 goals is third-best on the team, said the club’s recent road success needs to translate to home ice.

“There are details we have to be better at,” Tanguay said. “We’ve been really good on the road.

“We could have come back with eight points out of eight if we would have got a little lucky.”

Maybe the Flames should slap on their road whites for Friday’s tilt with the Stars.

Sutter said there’s no reason for Calgary fans to be subjected to what they had to watch Wednesday night.

“We’ve played different on the road than we have at home,” he said. “And we don’t want to do that. We want to be a team that plays the same way all the time.

“We were credited with three finished checks in the first period (against the Wild). That’s not the type of game we play.

“We spent too much time without the puck and we weren’t tight in all three zones.”

Tanguay said forgetting a 6-0 butt-kicking is easier said than done.

And every loss puts added pressure on future games.

“We need four points out of every six to get to the number of points you usually need to get into the playoffs,” Tanguay said.

“We’ve been doing that since December 23rd. But last night put us at three (points) out of six, so we need five in the next segment to put us right back on pace.”

That won’t be any easy task with the next three games coming against the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and red-hot Nashville Predators — all of which are holding down playoff positions in the Western Conference.

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca


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